MOU Process

  1. Sponsoring UNM faculty or staff (“Sponsor”) inquires with GEO ( about a desired MOU, takes GEO’s self-survey, and brings the survey results to an exploratory meeting to discuss the potential viability of the MOU. 
  2. If the MOU appears to be viable, GEO emails the Sponsor the pertinent preliminary review form (as applicable).  If the Sponsor gets all required signatures on the form, the Sponsor submits the form to GEO, which authorizes GEO to collaborate with the Sponsor on the MOU.
  3. GEO’s next step depends on the origin of the MOU text:
    • UNM template agreement: GEO provides the template to the Sponsor for its review and edits, if any, and refines the text internally as needed before emailing it to the potential partner for its review and edits, if any. 
    • New agreement: GEO and the Sponsor meet to discuss the essential elements of the needed MOU, and GEO develops and provides a first draft to the Sponsor.  The text is refined internally before GEO emails it to the potential partner for its review and edits, if any.
    • Partner’s template or partner’s other proposed text: GEO and the Sponsor review, discuss, and propose edits to the text as needed.  The proposed edits are refined internally before GEO emails the track-changes mark-up of the text to the potential partner.
  4. GEO collaborates with the Sponsor and the potential partner as needed to produce a final text that complies with UNM Policy 2010, “Contracts Signature Authority and Review.”  This stage of the process may require input from the University Counsel and/or other UNM units, which usually adds days or weeks to the timeline.
  5. Once the text is finalized, GEO’s Contract Review Officer completes and submits a Contract Review Form (CRF) for additional signatures as needed. A fully signed CRF authorizes UNM’s signatory to sign the MOU.  Sometimes UNM signs first, and sometimes the partner signs first. 
  6. GEO submits the CRF and the MOU to UNM’s signatory.  Once that signatory signs the MOU, GEO retrieves it.
  7. GEO will mail or scan and email the MOU to the partner and vice versa to obtain all of the needed signatures.
  8. GEO files a hard copy of the original MOU in its office and also scans and e-files the original in its password-protected database.  GEO also adds the MOU to its on-line, publicly available database of International Partnerships.  This step ends GEO’s involvement in the process of establishing, revising, or renewing an MOU
  9. The MOU then moves to the implementation phase, as applicable (i.e., general cooperation agreements are not themselves implemented). The details of the MOU will determine which UNM units and personnel are responsible for implementing it. For example, GEO implements exchange agreements, but the Sponsor and his/her department personnel are primarily responsible for implementing X+Y agreements within the unit, in coordination with GEO’s International Admission division. 


Each potential partner’s campus culture and internal procedures for MOU’s are unique, so there is no typical timeline to complete all of these steps. For example, a General Cooperation agreement using UNM’s template verbatim can be completed in a couple of weeks if the partner is motivated to respond promptly. At the other extreme, an Articulation agreement or even an Exchange agreement can take months of email correspondence and multiple internal reviews by each partner to develop a mutually acceptable final text. Generally speaking, if UNM’s Sponsor and the partner’s sponsor are highly engaged in the process it can be completed sooner than if the sponsors take a “hands-off” approach.